How To Choose a Jalapeno
Jalapeno peppers are tapered, deep green and about 2 inches long. Sometimes they can be red in color if left to ripen on the plant longer. In California jalapenos are found in the market produce area year round.
When selecting a jalapeno pepper, look careful to make sure the skin is firm and smooth. Take note that no mold or soft spots are found on the stem or flesh. Store the peppers in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
The Juice Can BURN
Cutting jalapenos can burn your fingers and any part of your body that you may touch even after washing your hands. So it's a good idea to wear surgical gloves. If you're like me you probably won't, so make sure you wash your hands with detergent and rub them to remove as much of the pepper from your skin.
Test the Pepper's HEAT
Jalapenos can be mild to hot in heat... the best way I know to determine the heat of the two peppers you are using in this recipe is to taste you finger after cutting each one. Your tongue will immediately let you know if this batch of pickled carrots will be HOT or mild.
If the pepper is HOT, I remove all the white veins and seeds from the peppers before adding them to my recipes.
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Dips, Sauces, Dressings, Condiments
Perfectly Pickled Vegan Carrots
I love those spicy carrots served in Mexican restaurants. After buying a few types and being totally dissatisfied with the taste, I decided to experiment with creating my own version. After all, my grandmother, Jody Slaton, always made her own sweet pickles... so surely I could create a pickled hot carrot or two!
I have to WARN you that the cooking process for the pickling juice is "STINKY" but worth the few minutes of smell! Pick a warm day so you can open up the house while cooking
2 large packages of organic carrots
2 - 16 ounce bottles of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
2 whole jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoons crushed red chili peppers
2 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large jars with tight fitting lids
jars with lids
heavy bottomed sauce pan
Peel and thinly slice all the carrots... I like to cut the carrots on the diagonal to give the eater a larger area to use when eating with a dip.
As you cut the peeled carrots, fill the empty jars. You can use several small jars, but I prefer larger jars.
Cut the serrano chilies into rounds and insert pieces throughout the jar as you fill them with the sliced carrots... or omit this ingredient if you don't like spicy, hot carrots.
Once the jars are filled to the top, fill them with the vinegar... you may need more or less vinegar depending on how many jars and carrots are sliced.
Hold the carrots inside the jar and pour off the vinegar into a large sauce pan and add the sugar, salt and crushed red chili peppers.
Bring the vinegar solution to a boil... remember this is STINKY and don't breathe the vapor. The chilies and vinegar give off a vapor like cutting onions and it tends to make your eyes water and burns your lungs if you inhale the steam vapors during the boiling process.
As soon as you see a boil and the sugar and salt have completely dissolved, place the carrot filled jars in your sink and fill each one with the vinegar solution.
Cover each jar with their lid and invert the jars in the sink to seal the caps. Rinse each jar after 5 minutes and let cool on your kitchen counter for 30 minutes.
Place in your refrigerator and once cold, serve with dips, sandwiches or use in salsas, salads or anything else you might like it with! These pickles are FAST, EASY and INEXPENSIVE... not to mention organic and homemade!
It's easy to slip a jar of Perfectly Pickled Carrots onto any buffet table to add some ZING to the meal!
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